Kamenje v mojem žepu / Rocks in My Pockets

Kamenje v mojem žepu / Rocks in My Pockets

Signe Baumane

Latvija, ZDA, 2014, dcp, 88:00

In English with Slovene subtitles

Script: Signe Baumane
Animation: Signe Baumane
Editing: Wendy Cong Zhao
Music: Kristian Sensini
Sound: Weston Fonger
Cast: Signe Baumane
Producer: Signe Baumane
Co-producer: Sturgis Warner

 

Latvia, the late 1920’s. Anna, a young woman, pretty and educated, falls in love with an adventurous entrepreneur, 30 years her senior. But with marriage comes great jealousy, and the entrepreneur hides Anna away in the forest, far from other men, where she bears him eight children. The Great Depression hits them hard. Then Latvia is overrun with invasions by the Soviets, then the Nazis, then the Soviets once again. Anna is a pillar of strength, defying the hardships, raising her young, teaching them survival secrets of the forest. But something inside her is terribly wrong.

Years later, Signe, a young artist, asks her father, “How did my grandmother die?” Her father is evasive. His seven siblings are evasive, as well. Signe strongly suspects that Anna committed suicide. Clues of mental illness had always leaked through the family stories. Signe suffers from depression herself. Three of her cousins, all women, battle madness, as well. Could there be a link between Anna and the four granddaughters?

Defying the stigma that silences so many, Signe takes us on a journey deep into her own depression where she looks to confront the family demons. But, unlike her cousins, Signe finds an assuring guide in animation and art.

 

I don’t make films in lieu of therapy, I make films to offer people my point of view, to provoke them to think differently, to engage them in a dialogue, and hopefully to entertain them. I can now formulate better what my specific symptoms are because in “Rocks in My Pockets” there are six rocks, each representing a specific symptom of depression, and I had to name them. Now when I feel a certain way I go: Aha, the rock of dread is bothering me today! Making the film has certainly made me more aware of the symptoms of my depression. The film has two fantasy characters - a creature living in the river representing the will to die, and a creature in the forest representing the will to live. I had never formulated my daily struggles so simply - I do have a will to live and it is fending off my will to die. They fight over me. Putting images on those two wills, I can now better see who is gaining the upper hand and when. Day after day the will to live has been winning. At least for now.

- Signe Baumane

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